Chapter 1
Introduction: focus on change
Introduction: focus on change
We are living in a period of unparalleled social change and it is propelling us into the future at ever faster speed. As we accelerate to keep up, everything accelerates around us too.

As a result, many businesses are repositioning and realigning to survive. To ‘pivot’ – a term that has long been associated with entrepreneurial innovation – has crossed into wider use. To pivot is becoming the new universal, especially during the current pandemic when staying resilient and relevant as a company is under increased threat.

In business terms, to pivot is to recognise the need to make an immediate change in direction, and to act on it. For business leaders, that means asking not only what we want to do, but also how we do it.

It means moving fast, but it also follows a four-stage process:

  1. Reflection and re-evaluation.
  2. Understanding your stakeholders.
  3. Building strategic alliances.
  4. Innovating and evolving.

Within your organisation, this raises a number of immediate questions:

  • What needs to change, and why?
  • What – and who – will the changes impact?
  • What is the strategy for communicating change?
  • How do we provide the necessary tools and support?
  • How will we measure the process?

During any pivot, repositioning or realignment, the teams of which you are a part must also adapt to stay effective and productive. With more people than ever currently working from home, colleagues furloughed, and individual roles and responsibilities being altered and expanded, pivoting to new ways of working is a priority.

We now operate in a world of decentralised and inter-departmental teams, and are connected across a multitude of platforms – email, voice and SMS, instant messaging, group chat, video conferencing apps, cloud-based workspaces and collaboration hubs.

This hyper-connected workplace creates challenges. Communication channels compete for colleagues’ time and attention, and while collaboration can achieve alignment, it also disrupts the uninterrupted, focused work of individuals.

In times of accelerated change, managers need to ensure that decentralised teams use appropriate communication and collaboration tools to stay empowered and productive. This requires clear direction in aligning teams to focus on specific goals.

Next: engaging your team, wherever they’re working